Cincinnati Streetcar project delayed again

CINCINNATI -- The new Cincinnati streetcar project has been delayed again. Now the city is saying it won't be ready for riders until the spring of 2016.

City officials have touted the $110-million-plus project as a way to attract new businesses, visitors and residents to the revitalized downtown. Opponents, however, say it's a costly endeavor that will do little for the city.

The streetcar's schedule has been pushed back several times over the past three years. The latest timetable is outlined in construction bid documents recently issued by city hall.

Two ballot measures drafted by streetcar opponents slowed the process, even though Cincinnati voters rejected efforts to scuttle the project.

And mayoral candidate John Cranley is calling for the plans to come to a complete stop. Cranley said he feels the city shouldn't have moved forward with the project by ordering five streetcars without resolving the $20 million dispute with Duke Energy regarding the relocation of power lines before construction begins.

"It shows contempt with the taxpayer." Cranley said. "They haven't resolved Duke. They could end up moth balling these streetcars for two or three years and paying for storage."

Cranley also said he takes issue with the fact that the city originally said that half of the money would come from the federal government, but now the city is paying for 80 percent of the project.

The 3.6-mile streetcar will run from the downtown riverfront to the Over-the-Rhine neighborhood.

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